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Ahead of the Labor Department's final report on gross domestic product growth, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is sitting modestly higher following a mixed finish to Thursday's session. On the equity front, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares were initially halted after the struggling smartphone manufacturer reported steep losses for its fiscal third quarter. The company also announced a five-year partnership with controversial electronics manufacturer Foxconn.

"Equity indices took a breather yesterday, consolidating the huge post-Fed gains that followed the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy decision on Wednesday," noted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "Today is triple-witching expiration, as futures, options on futures, and options on equities for December are set to expire. Continue to watch the 182 level on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), as major call open interest resides at this near-the-money strike."

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO trade stocks with a favorable sentiment backdrop. At Schaeffer's, we use sentiment analysis to determine whether a stock's current trend is likely to continue. To maximize returns, we focus our efforts on outperforming stocks surrounded by skepticism, and lagging equities that continue to attract bullish attention.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are nearly 21 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,173,892 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 611,810 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio dropped to 0.52, while the 21-day moving average held steady at 0.56.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S dollar index is flirting with a 0.1% gain in pre-market trading, at 80.70.
  • Crude oil is slightly lower, with the front-month contract off 0.3% at $98.79 per barrel.
  • After settling at a multi-year low last night, gold futures are roughly 0.1% higher this morning, with the February contract last seen trading at $1,194.60 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Investors can expect the Labor Department's final reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), CarMax (KMX), Finish Line (FINL), and Walgreen (WAG) will report earnings.

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